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2. Needs assessments and analysis

Section 2 contains the following tools:

2.1 Gender-responsive needs assessment checklist

2.2 Questions for gender-responsive analysis

INEE Minimum Standards

Domain 1: Foundational standards – Analysis

Standard 1: Assessment

Timely education assessments of the emergency situation are conducted in a holistic, transparent and participatory manner.

Primary users

National and sub-national levels

  • EiE programme managers, international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), multilateral organizations, community service organizations (CSOs);
  • EiE advisors, specialists, officers, analysts in planning, technical specialists, advocacy and communications;
  • EiE working group coordinators;
  • education personnel.

Purpose of tools

To understand some specific actions and considerations for gender-responsive needs assessments for education in acute emergencies and protracted crises.

To understand key questions to ask for a gender-responsive needs assessment.


Evidence-based needs assessment and analyses form the foundation of all EiE programming in both protracted crises and acute emergencies. Needs assessments should determine the needs and capacities of female and male learners and relevant education stakeholders to inform the design of equitable and inclusive education programmes.

Before crises, during preparedness planning, gender and education assessments should summarize key gender issues in the education sector to provide a basis for action or contingency planning. For a checklist, see:

8: Preparedness

The initial rapid assessment and the subsequent more comprehensive needs assessments carried out in the weeks and months after the onset of a crisis (and on an ongoing basis) are covered in Tools 2.1 and 2.2:

  • 2.1 is a checklist of considerations for the design and delivery of a needs assessment.
  • 2.2 is a series of questions to guide a gender-responsive data analysis.

Box 2.0.1: Types of needs assessments in EiE

  • Initial, joint rapid assessments are usually carried out within the first four weeks after a sudden onset emergency and are part of lifesaving activities. These identify urgent needs.
  • A more detailed Joint Education Needs Assessment (JENA) usually follows the rapid needs assessment, up to 2-3 months after the onset of the crisis. The assessment is described as ‘joint’ because it brings together and coordinates data from various education stakeholders to avoid duplication. This assessment will then feed into an overarching multi-sectoral assessment (covering health, protection, etc.).
  • Non-cluster based agencies and consortia can also carry out needs assessments as a routine component of the pre-design and ongoing monitoring of EiE programmes.

IASC Gender with Age Marker

Needs assessments are an excellent opportunity for programmes to reflect on and develop gender-responsive approaches. The Gender with Age Marker (GAM) is a useful tool for organizations to identify gaps and develop programmes that respond to all aspects of diversity. Programmes should logically flow from the gendered needs analysis, to tailoring and adapting activities based on the analysis, through to considering who benefits from an initiative. GAM coding reflects the presence and consistency of these actions as well as the integration of gender and age within them. In order to maximize the learning opportunity of using the GAM to assess the extent to which an analysis has been gender-responsive, all stakeholders, including supervisors and managers, should review and endorse GAM submissions and results.

1.5: IASC Gender with Age Marker (GAM)

  • Global Education Cluster (last updated 20 December 2019) Guide to Coordinated Educat in Emergencies Needs Assessments and Analysis
  • This has replaced all previous needs assessment tools, including rapid needs assessment tools and joint education sector needs assessments.
  • INEE Minimum Standards, Foundational Standards: Analysis
  • INEE (2019) Guidance Note on Gender, Section 1.3
  • Promundo (2014) Needs Assessment Package for Male Engagement Programming

2.1 Gender-responsive needs assessment checklist

This tool provides a step by step list of each phase of a gender-responsive needs assessment and corresponds with GEC’s Guide to Coordinated Education in Emergencies Needs Assessments and Analysis. It is also relevant to non-cluster based agencies and organizations.

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2.2 Questions for gender-responsive analysis

This checklist provides a series of ‘who, what, when, where, and why’ questions to help you understand the main drivers or factors relating to the needs of different groups. This information will reveal the critical gender-related gaps to be addressed and thus who programmes should target and how.

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